The Power of Adaptability

This week is my last week in D.C. and I’m not ready to leave just yet 😭😭😭.

I’ve really settled into the flow of things in my rotation and have quickly gotten used to the diverse nature of this city. I’ll probably never get used to the traffic in this city, but I’ve managed to get around without losing my mind, which is an accomplishment if you ask me. 😊 I kept telling myself that I would eventually start using the metro to avoid the congestion, but I would always end up leaving for clinic each morning in my car. It’s just easier and more convenient to me, even though I spend a good amount of time on the road as well as a good amount on gas money.

Angry Simon Cowell GIF

After this upcoming week, I’ll be heading up to Philly to start another Pediatric inpatient rotation at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. I’ll be on a general pediatric team that also treats kids with allergic, immunologic, rheumatologic and hematologic conditions. Yeah I know, that’s a lot of different types of conditions. I just recently got my schedule for the rotation and boooyyy am I going to be busy 😅. I’m really going to be living like an intern…six day work-weeks with only one day off each week, one week of nights, case conferences, teaching sessions, performing patient responsibilites on an intern level — yeahhh I’m gonna be working for real. I probably won’t see much outside of the hospital to be honest…but that’s okay, there’ll be plenty to see in the hospital. Plus, being in the north and all, I’m sure that it’s going to get cold real soon so staying indoors wouldn’t be such a bad idea. Shoutout to the power of positive thinking 🙌🏿😂.

With all the time I’m going to be spending in the hospital, I’m definitely going to be able to see a wide variety of illnesses and there’s a good chance that I’ll be participating in very unique and interesting cases. Also, as you may already know if you’ve been following my posts these past couple of months, I just so happen to have some experience in hematology, allergy and immunology….so I’m fortunate in that I’ll be able to continue building upon the knowledge that I’ve accumulated in those sub-specialties so far. 😄 In addition, I’ll get to network with a variety of people and will be paired with mentors who will undoubtedly be instrumental in helping me lay the foundation for my future career. Until I get to my experience at CHOP however, I need to get through a mountain of modules that need to be completed prior to rotating there.

Confused Steve Harvey GIF

Now about my most recent week in the Capital.

I had a pretty full schedule of events last week, those of which included a couple of food allergy clinic days, an inner-city asthma clinic day, a mock interview session, my first residency interview at Wake Forest, a couple of one-on-one meetings with faculty here at Children’s National, an allergy & immunology department-wide morning conference, a meeting with one of Senator Cory Booker’s legislative assistants on Capitol Hill, and a great weekend with my girlfriend and other friends who are here in D.C. Yeah I know, I told you it was going to be a lot lol. I did my best to take things one day at a time though and that helped me get through everything that I experienced throughout the week.

The food allergy clinic days were the usual, where I helped consent patients and their families to oral food challenges, took histories, performed physical exams, and presented the diverse array of patients that I interacted with to my attendings. The inner-city asthma clinic was unique in that it was designed specifically to comprehensively address issues regarding asthma in children, which meant that there was an extensive amount of time dedicated to this mission. The patient and their family would meet with an asthma educator and the physician, with some visits taking as long as 90 minutes if necessary! 😯 I’m glad that I got the chance to participate in that experience, because I also ended up learning some very useful information about asthma and all the various substances in the environment that can trigger it.

As a participant of the Minority Senior Scholarship Program (MSSP), I got the opportunity to engage in a mock interview session as well as to go to Capitol Hill to talk with a legislative assistant about her role in health policy while also asking her questions regarding health policy and how we as future physicians can help influence it for the sake of our patients. The mock interview session was very helpful because not only was I able to practice my interview skills a couple days before my first residency interview, but I was also able to gain some valuable advice that will really help me out on the interview trail. The session at Capitol Hill was primarily a conversation between the students in the MSSP and a legislative assistant, who explained how she helps advise Senator Cory Booker and answered the barrage of questions that we had for her. She encouraged us to keep our passion for advocacy as we grow into physicians and shared with us how much she admired the work that Pediatricians do when it comes to advocating for their patients. It was a really cool experience overall, even though we didn’t end up going inside the Capitol building like I initially thought we would lol. I’m not gonna lie, I was getting hype as we drove up to the Capitol building in our Uber, but we then took a sharp turn left and ended up at another building a couple of blocks away. But then again, it’s not every day that you get to walk into the office of a Senator!

As for my interview at Wake, it ended up going pretty well overall! I definitely felt welcomed, many aspects of both the pediatric residency program and life in Winston-Salem were reinforced to me, and I had some great conversations with my two interviewers. That particular interview day was a day specifically for interviewees who had some sort of tie to Wake Forest, so I was able to connect with the majority of my classmates who are also going into Pediatrics, which was nice. Honestly, the only stressful part about the whole day was the fact that I had to fly from D.C. to Raleigh Tuesday night, pick up a rental car from the airport, drive to Chapel Hill to stay the night at my girlfriend’s place, and drive in a rental car from Chapel Hill to Winston early Wednesday morning through the rain in order to make it to the interview group with only a couple of minutes to spare. And then after the day was over, I had to drive back to Chapel Hill to pick my stuff up, drive to Raleigh, return the rental car and fly back to D.C. that night in order to go to clinic the next morning.

oh my god what GIF

It was definitely A LOT, but it was also worth it. With my first interview complete, I feel that much more comfortable attending interviews at other institutions. Plus, I felt like I got a solid feel of what residency at Wake would be like. With that said, I feel adequately prepared for my interview here at Children’s National this Friday! 😁

michelle rodriguez letty ortiz GIF

My busy week was topped off with a fun weekend with my girlfriend and other good friends of mine. Between eating at a “bottomless” brunch, eating some of D.C.’s deep-dish pizza, visiting various monuments, viewing portraits at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, watching a movie (The Oath) before it’s nationwide release date, and (painfully) watching the UM vs. UVA game at a bar/restaurant/arcade, I had an awesome time! The Canes may have lost (in a ridiculous fashion, to say the least), but it’s the time spent with the people I care about that matters!

I’ve been typing for a good amount of time now, so I think that it’s about time that I end this post and start putting in some more work on these modules that I really need to finish up. 😅

I hope that your week turns out to be an excellent one!

“The winners in life think constantly in terms of I can, I will, and I am. Losers, on the other hand, concentrate their waking thoughts on what they should have or would have done, or what they can’t do.” – Denis Waitley

– Black Man, M.D.

Hitting My Stride

How am I already halfway done with my rotation here at Children’s National?

confused good luck charlie GIF

Those first two weeks flew by so fast man, I swear. I feel like I’ve just started to get comfortable with the flow of things, only to have to start preparing for my next away rotation in Philly that will start in a couple of weeks. The traffic here still sucks, but I’ve been able to manage it more efficiently than I did the first week, especially since there wasn’t a torrential downpour every day like there was the first week. I’ve become acclimated to the workflow in both the allergy and immunology clinics and have done the best I can to help all the providers out by interviewing patients, presenting them, and writing notes on them. I’ve also continued to increase my knowledge base on the presentation of various allergic & immunologic conditions as well as the management of them. (Netherton syndrome will forever be ingrained in my memory. So will Eosinophilic Esophagitis.) And of course, I can’t forget to mention the amazing degree of diversity that I’ve witnessed in the clinic. It feels like I’m meeting someone from a different country every day! I’ve also been seeing patients from just about all levels of socioeconomic status. Overall, I feel like I’ve been getting a great sample of America’s diverse population these past two weeks.

Clinic has been keeping be really busy, but I’ve absolutely loved being able to interact with the kids who come to clinic. Some of them are hilarious man. One kid got super excited when I told him that I found Mickey Mouse in his ear and Pluto in the other ear. When I told him I heard Donald Duck quacking in his stomach, he about lost it. 😂Another little kid who was hesitant about performing an oral food challenge warmed up to me after we bonded about Power Rangers and Spider-Man lol. He also got excited when I told him I saw the red power ranger in his ear. I don’t know why kids love having things found in their ears…what they need to be finding is a way to remove all the wax they like to make in there. 🙃

Not only do I like to play with the little kids, I like talking with the older ones too. There aren’t as many older children who come to clinic, but I just about always have a great interaction with them when they’re there. They tend to be very knowledgable about their condition, and I’ve found that some of them are much more mature than their age. There was one patient who was literally teaching me about her rare condition and how she has managed to live with it her whole life. The way she was talking, I kept forgetting that she was over a decade younger than me. God bless her.

Outside of clinic, I got the chance to attend a Grand Rounds discussion that touched on the topics of informed consent, social media, and effectively interacting with parents who try to take over their child’s medical care. I was also invited to an underrepresented minority dinner where residents and faculty discussed the subject of burnout and how it tends to negatively affect minority and women medical students & physicians at a higher rate than other populations. The chief medical officer was also in attendance and it was awesome to see not only how well-respected she was by everyone, but also how willing she was to take feedback in order to improve the experiences of the minority residents and faculty members at the hospital. Burnout is so real, and I’ve been very fortunate in that I haven’t really experienced it so far. At least I don’t think I have. 🤔 I have God, my mindset, my girlfriend, friends, family, mentors, mentees and my blog to thank for that. It takes a village y’all, always remember that. Nobody can go through a process like this alone, it’ll eat you alive.

Overall, D.C. has been a great time so far (I’ve already been to brunch a couple of times and have quickly realized that I can NOT afford to keep doing that 😅) and I’m excited to make the most out of my next couple of weeks here! I’m going to be sooo busy though; I have A TON of one-on-one meetings to attend as a requirement of the program I’m currently in. However, I’m really looking forward to them because they are all with various leaders of the hospital! I’m also starting my residency interview trail this week, with my first interview being back at my home institution! This means I need to hop on a quick flight back to Winston on Tuesday evening, only to return back up here Wednesday evening. That’s going to be fun lol. Oh and I’m also going to have the opportunity to go on a field trip to Capitol Hill on Friday with the other students in my program (they’re all my friends now 😊), where we will meet with the Legislative Assistant to Senator Cory Booker to talk about legislative advocacy and health! I’m really looking forward to that experience!

That’s it from me! Here’s to another week of the grind!

“Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.” – Carl Sandburg

– Black Man, M.D.

P.S. – The Canes are really trying to make a statement out here with that win against FSU! The game shouldn’t have been that hard, but a win is a win! Too bad it was also overshadowed by Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court, even after fierce, legitimized opposition. Jesus. This country needs to be saved.

Life In The Capital

D.C. IS. LIT. 🔥🔥🔥

I just needed to let you know in case you weren’t already aware. My experience in the nation’s capital so far has been fantastic!

First off, I’ve been able to learn so much in my first week of my Allergy & Immunology elective at CNMC. Like, SO MUCH. I thought that I had a good understanding of what food allergies were and about the overall mechanisms of various allergic and immunologic conditions. Turns out that my understanding was basic at best lol. There’s definitely more to the specialty of allergy & immunology than meets the eye. Not only have I become aware of conditions such as FPIES and Omenn syndrome, but I’ve also learned the necessary steps that need to be taken in order to diagnose and treat both food and environmental allergies. In addition, I’ve quickly become comfortable taking an allergy history and teaching families how to use epinephrine to treat an anaphylatic reaction. I must have been doing a great job or something because one of the mothers of a patient kept telling me how sharp I looked and how good of a role model I was to her teenage son. My heart melted even more when she told me how proud she was of me, before proceeding to tell her son that he could be a doctor too in case his basketball dreams didn’t work out.

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The education that I have been receiving has only been made better by the kindness of the providers that I’ve been working with. Everyone has been so relaxed and willing to help me not only acclimate to the workflow, but to also help me understand concepts that I’ve been curious to learn about. The chill atmosphere in the clinics I’ve worked in so far has allowed me to feel comfortable enough to truly take advantage of all the learning opportunities that have been offered to me. Also, I can’t adequately talk about my experiences without mentioning the diverse array of patients that I’ve seen. The cultural melting pot that makes up the city of D.C. is simply phenomenal. I’ve probably seen patients from over ten different countries this past week, no exaggeration. As a matter of fact, I don’t think any of the patients that I saw on my first day shared the same race or ethnicity. It’s amazing to be able to meet and treat people from many different backgrounds. I really want to be able to continue treating such a diverse array of patients throughout my professional career.

Outside of clinic, you could catch me either reading up on articles related to my elective, prepping for interviews, getting work done for the SNMA, or catching up with friends that I haven’t seen in a long time (between Friday night’s talent show at Howard and hanging out on U Street last night, there was a lot of fun to be had lol). Oh, and getting extremely frustrated trying to drive in D.C.

Bruh.

The traffic here can get horrendous. It didn’t help that it rained just about all day every day throughout the week. At one point, the mixture of heavy rain and traffic was so bad that it literally took me an hour to drive six miles. ONE HOUR. SIX MILES.

Oh My God Omg GIF

How absurd is that? And because I travel between two clinics for my rotation, I have to do a lot of commuting back and forth from the main hospital to the outside clinic. I’m seriously considering quitting driving in D.C. altogether and just using public transportation. But at the same time, driving myself around is very convenient, even with the traffic and all.

*Sigh*

C’est la vie.

Alright, that’s all I’m going to write today. Not too long, not too short. I’m looking forward to spending more time with my team in clinic, exploring the city more, and meeting up with other old friends while getting to make new ones. I also hope that these next three weeks don’t fly by too fast…🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿

Make your week a marvelous one! And please, please, PLEEEAAASSEEE remember to register to vote if you haven’t already!

“When we seek to discover the best in others, we somehow bring out the best in ourselves.” – William Arthur Ward

– Black Man, M.D.

P.S. – As I was getting updates about the Kavanaugh hearings taking place last week, I eventually came to realize that this event that was being broadcasted across the nation was literally taking place about fifteen minutes away from me. Talk about surreal.

 

Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop

Man I have so much to say, but not a lot of time to type it all out. As you can see, it’s Monday…which means that I had just about no time to type up a post yesterday. Why didn’t I have time to type up a post, you might ask? Well, I would answer back by saying that I spent the majority of my Sunday in a Board of Directors meeting for the Student National Medical Association. After the meeting ended, I had to drive from Delaware back to D.C. to attend the orientation for the Medical Senior Scholarship Program (MSSP) at Children’s National Medical Center. (My acceptance into this scholarship program allowed for me to participate in an away rotation at this hospital. Look at God!) In order to get back to D.C. though, I had to fight in the war that bumper-to-bumper traffic, blistering rain, and taxing tolls waged against me. Speaking of them tolls,  can you believe that I paid $16 just to get to Delaware, and $8 just to drive back to D.C.?? Like, what kind of scam is this?? Booyyy was I mad. Matter of fact, I’m starting to get annoyed just thinking about it again. Smh. But anyway, after I FINALLY got back to D.C., I got oriented to the hospital by one of the fellows there and then I finally got back to my cousin’s place, which is where I’m staying for the month. I then had to get all prepared for my first day in clinic in the short amount of time I had left and thus made the executive decision to push this post to tonight.

So there you have it. That’s my excuse. Take it or leave it. 🙃

I’m gonna just blaze through the important updates in my life so that I can get through the rest of the tasks that I need to complete before going to bed tonight. First off, the SNMA National Leadership Institute that took place in Delaware this past weekend was a fantastic experience! Outside of helping take pictures throughout the conference to post on the organization’s social media, I was able to sit in on multiple sessions that focused on branding one’s self in this day and age, reprogramming the negative bias that we all hold within ourselves, optimizing grit and resilience, useful tips for interview season, and pinpointing & combating microaggressions. In addition, I got the chance to do some networking and even got approached by a pre-med student who distinctly remembered me from a panel I was on back at AMEC in San Francisco! Shoutout to her for reading my blog on a consistent basis and I wish her the best of luck on her medical school application cycle!

mel b good luck GIF by America's Got Talent

Oh and yeah, I was also busy playing an active role in a board meeting on Sunday. I had to give (A TON) of updates from my committee (External Affairs) as well as from an AdHoc committee that both my co-chair and I are in charge of. I did a lot of talking when it was my turn to give updates, and I’m happy to say that my updates were well-received! 😄 Being on the Board of Directors is some serious work though; I feel like I’m always busy doing something for the SNMA. Matter of fact, SNMA tends to take up the majority of the free time I have when I’m not busy doing clinical work. While the endless amount of work can get irritating at times, I honestly am glad that I decided to join the board. The experience that I’m receiving coupled with the connections that I’ve been establishing makes it SO worth it.

I spent a good amount of my free time last week tying up loose ends that I had been putting off during my Heme/Onc AI. I ran a ton of errands, got my locs retwisted (ayyyyeeee I’m fresh), spent time with my girlfriend, prepared for the SNMA conference, did a lot of emailing, helped host some conference calls, and drove from Winston-Salem all the way up to Maryland. I even got to stop and visit some of my siblings on my trip up to the DMV! (DMV = D.C., Maryland, Virginia. That’s for those of you who thought I was talking about the godforsaken Department of Motor Vehicles). And last but certainly not least, I actually ended up getting some residency interviews last week!!!

tiffany haddish dancing GIF by Saturday Night Live

I honestly thought that I wouldn’t be securing any interviews until about maybe mid-October. With that said, try to imagine my complete surprise when I got my first interview last Monday! Ever since then, I’ve been on an unusually high level of alertness for new emails lol. Like, I really do look like a madman whenever I feel my phone vibrate. Boooyyy I be yanking my phone out of my pocket so fast…..

It feels awesome to know that residency programs are confident enough in me to give me a shot at training in their program. This application cycle is already proving to be leaps and bounds better than my medical school application cycle was 😅. I’m looking forward to my interviews and to hearing back from the other residency programs that I’m currently waiting on!

Okay I’m all done for now. My first day at Children’s National was wonderful; you’ll hear all about it plus more on my next post! 😉

Keep your grind up this week!

“Let yourself be driven by your will to succeed rather than your fear of not succeeding.” – Kevin Hart

– Black Man, M.D.

State Of Emergency

In case you hadn’t already heard, my residency application was finally submitted on Wednesday, September 12th at 8:09 PM! I’ve officially applied for my first big boy job!

blackish make it rain GIF by HULU

Talk about getting a weight lifted off your shoulders. My application was actually already complete on Tuesday, but for whatever reason I refused to submit it that day. I just couldn’t bear to send it off knowing that I wouldn’t be able to revise it at all once it was gone. Plus I had until Saturday to submit it, so why rush to get it in? Thanks to my growing anxiety and hesitation, you can probably guess what I ended up doing. My application ended up going through a scrutinizing process, where I couldn’t help but double-check everything that I had typed into the application. My double-check was soon followed by a triple-check, then a quadruple-check, a quintuple-check, etc. etc. I continued this maddening routine the rest of Tuesday evening and all throughout Wednesday evening until my girlfriend called me out on it and encouraged me to press “Submit”. After sitting with me for about 20 minutes, I finally mustered up enough courage to send my application in. Even after sending it in, I felt some anxiety about not being able to edit it again…but then after looking at the PDF version that was still accessible in the ERAS system one last time, I finally felt at peace with my decision to send it out early. It was liberating to not have to think about sending it out as the deadline of Sept. 15th neared. If it wasn’t for my girlfriend though, I definitely would have sent it out much closer to Saturday lol. I was also pressured to submit it by the impending hurricane that was forecasted to slam the East Coast the same weekend that my application was due. And I would be damned if I lost power before being able to submit my application.

Speaking of Hurricane Florence, this storm really screwed up all my plans for the weekend. I didn’t even know about this storm until last Sunday evening, and it very quickly became the talk of the town as we advanced through the week. By Wednesday, it became very clear that North Carolina was going to endure a direct hit from this Category 4 storm.

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With that said, the state proceeded to declare a state of emergency and widespread panic ensued. The coastal areas definitely needed to evacuate, but the forecast wasn’t as certain for more inland areas like Winston-Salem and Charlotte. We still had to take precautionary measures though, so I ended up being relieved of all clinical duties from noon on Thursday and throughout the weekend. That was actually a bummer, because it was my last week on the Peds Heme/Onc service, a service that I had grown to love. But the precautionary measures didn’t stop there. I had been recently selected to be one of the student interviewers for this cycle of medical school applicants (yay me 😄) and the mandatory training that I needed to attend was supposed to be last Thursday. That ended up getting rescheduled to this Tuesday afternoon. The annual Millenium Ball, a school-sponsored party that allows for all of the classes to celebrate the beginning of a school year together, was also cancelled.

Come On Please GIF

In addition, the World Congress of Ultrasound Medical Education conference that had been scheduled to take place at Wake Forest on Saturday, Sept. 15th was cancelled too. I mention this because I had signed up to volunteer for this conference back in the spring and I really wanted to learn all sorts of things from the world-renowned ultrasound experts scheduled to attend this event. So best believe that I was pretty annoyed about that, though I’m sure that Wake Forest was 1000x more annoyed than I was because they had been planning for this conference for God knows how long. I was then supposed to FINALLY get my locs retwisted, but I had to reschedule that for this Tuesday as well. And my girlfriend and I were looking forward to going to a nearby vineyard this weekend after I had submitted my application, but you can already guess what happened to those plans.

Oh Hell No I Give Up GIF

So because of this hurricane-turned-tropical-storm, we’ve been chillin’ in my apartment all weekend getting work done while watching a ton of college football. The worst part is that the storm really didn’t even hit Winston that bad! I’ve thankfully had power this whole weekend, and we even went out to eat last night. So much for buying extra bottles of water and groceries. I even finally broke out my heavy-duty flashlight that my dad got me for Christmas last year! (Yes, my dad got me a flashlight for Christmas. And no, I did not ask for one. 😂) Turns out that none of our extra supplies have been necessary up to this point. But I sure ain’t complaining! I’m really glad to have been fortunate enough to not suffer the very real consequences of this storm that other people along the coastline have had to suffer. I feel so bad for all the people who have been severely affected by the storm though. Even though Winston mainly got a lot of rain and wind, I don’t want to downplay the havoc that this storm brought when it hit land as a Category 2 hurricane. R.I.P. to all of the people who lost their lives to this storm.

Now that my Peds Heme/Onc rotation is sadly officially over, I have a week “off” until I head to D.C. to start my first away rotation in Allergy & Immunology at Children’s National Medical Center! I have a week “off” because the rotation schedules at my school and George Washington University are off by a week, so I had to use one of my “flex” weeks this week to compensate for that. It’s great because I can take care of a lot of tasks that I’ve been pushing off for a while and also get some downtime to rest for a bit. I can also attend the quarterly SNMA’s National Leadership Institute that is taking place in Delaware this weekend. I’m excited to see all the thrilling attractions that Delaware has to offer!! Said no one ever. But still, I think that I’ll get some great networking opportunities at the conference and learn valuable things from the speakers there. Plus, the conference site is only about a couple hours from D.C., which is pretty convenient for me. So Delaware, here I come!

That’s it from me today. Oh and before I leave, I just want to remind you that September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month as well as Sickle Cell Awareness Month. How crazy is it that I was on my Heme/Onc rotation this month? If you can find a way to support the eradication of both childhood cancer and sickle cell disease this month, I encourage you to do so! And then while you’re at it, be sure to register to vote if you haven’t already! 😄

Make sure to have an exceptional week!

“Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees all others.” – Winston Churchill

– Black Man, M.D.

 

From Past To Present

So I know that today is Monday and that I’m writing this post today as opposed to yesterday, which was Sunday…my bad y’all. 😅 I was up and about pretty much all day yesterday and got back to North Carolina late last night. I was going to write the post when I got back, but I was quite tired and I wouldn’t have put a good faith effort in updating y’all about the incredible week that I just had. So I waited until this morning to do so, especially since it’s Labor Day and all. In a way, it feels like Sunday lol. And by the way, Happy Labor Day!

I spent the weekend in D.C. with my girl, where we visited a handful of the museums at the National Mall, visited a few of the monuments there, got rained on while trying to visit the White House (how fitting), ate at several D.C. dineries, and hung out with some of our old friends. Apart from spending time with our friends, the highlight of the trip was finally being able to go to the National Museum of African American History and Culture! I had been waiting almost a year to visit it because it has been so hard to get tickets for it in advance…we were only able to go because I was willing to wake up at 6:25 AM to secure same-day tickets. I’m glad I did, because what we saw in there was simply stunning. There was such an unreal collection of items in the museum that accompanied a brutally truthful account of our history. I can’t even truly begin to describe all the thoughts flooded my mind as I took in the harrowing struggles that both Africans & African-Americans experienced as a result of both the slave trade and the harsh realities of racism and discrimination. The exhibits made you realize just how insane and cruel the idea of racism is. They also repeatedly reinforced the truth of how the ridiculous construct of racial divide had been created simply to maximize the profits of greedy individuals. However, the museum also exhibited all the successes that African-Americans were able to achieve despite our struggles, which was highly refreshing. Ultimately, we were only able to visit the museum for a couple of hours, so I definitely need to make another trip back in order to really take everything in!

Before making the trip to D.C., I spent the week on the Labor & Delivery service where I continued to provide care to pregnant patients during my long yet rewarding shifts. Ever since my last post, I’ve witnessed the births of eight other individuals, most of which I lended a helping hand in delivering! Most of them were vaginal births, and two of them were via C-section. One of those C-sections resulted in the birth of twins, who now share the same birthday as me! 😄 (It was also the first C-section that I had ever seen! Scrubbing in is still a struggle though…I gotta work on that lol.) As a matter of fact, I witnessed the entrance of four newborns into this world on my birthday! Being able to witness the birth of a individual is truly a special experience, especially when it occurs on your birthday. You just feel a special type of connection to the newborn, although chances are that you’ll never see them again. Also, while running around trying to help out with births, I managed to deliver three placentas! I think it’s safe to say that I’ve already gotten used to the unusual sight of an umbilical cord and a placenta exiting a mother. 😅 However, I haven’t delivered a baby on my own yet, which is something that I plan on doing on my upcoming night shift in Labor & Delivery. Stay tuned for that!

Kept it short this time! Truth be told, I actually have to start getting my life together before tomorrow starts. I’ll be spending my time at a free health clinic in downtown Winston-Salem this week before starting night shifts on Saturday night. Yeahhh, I don’t have much of a weekend coming up. Eh, whatever. Y’all continue being great and I hope that you fully enjoy your Labor Day!

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of those depths.” – Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

– Black Man, M.D.